Sunday, September 20, 2009

Teroy Laurel: From Senator Nene Pimentel

by Dr. Prospero E. de Vera

This is the well written and deeply touching eulogy delivered by Senate Minority Leader Nene Pimentel during the Senate necrological service.


By Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr.
Philippine Senate
September 17, 2009

I learned of Teroy's death on the plane home from Cambodia yesterday and even then my mind was swamped with images of my association with Teroy.

I met Teroy for the first time in my life when we were elected members of the Constitutional Convention in 1970-71.


Then he struck me as a pillar of the bloc in the Convention that supported the strong man rule of the president at the start of the work to revise the Constitution.

Towards the end, however, he proved me wrong as he strongly opposed the adoption of certain provisions of the proposed Constitution that would essentially justify the continuation of the dictatorial rule that was imposed in 1972. In about a year, the work of the Convention ended in 1973 - tragically in my opinion as it somehow propped up the authoritarian form of government installed a year before.

Not the End

Anyway, the happy thing about it was the fact that the end of the Constitutional Convention did not end Teroy's public life.

Teroy was a much more resilient man than the sum total of the coerced output of the Convention.

In the campaign against the dictatorship in 1985 with his brother, Doy, running as the vice presidential candidate of Cory, Teroy did his share in his usual wise, quiet, and efficient way to ensure the victory of the challengers. Cory and Doy won the presidency and the vice presidency.

There were talks of fraud on both sides that even the US President erroneously endorsed as true on the part of the opposition. In any case, people power put a decisive end to the issue and forced the authoritarian ruler to flee the country and paved the way for the installation of Cory and Doy as the president and vice president of the land.

Then in 1987 after the restoration of Congress, in the first senatorial race, as fate would have it, Teroy and I, happily landed as among the winners.

More Visible

It was during our term in the Senate that Teroy became more visible to the people as he came out of the cocoon of his scholarly style of doing things that in my opinion enveloped his life as a worthy heir working in the shadow of outstanding legislators of the land who preceded his entry into the political arena.

No Rosy Path

As a son of the nationalist Senator Jose P. Laurel and a brother to the fiery Speaker of the House, Pepito Laurel and to the outstanding advocate of the rule of law, Senator Doy Laurel, Teroy unlike other scions of political families did not have the rosy road in politics cut out for him.

He did not content himself to bask in the glory of the achievements of the macho Laurel leaders in the political arena or in the other fields of diplomacy or sports.

He struck out on his path of hard work, of scholarly devotion to the minutiae of lawmaking and proved himself equal to the task of lawmakers and, perhaps, unconsciously he must have tried to equal, if not, better the great deeds at lawmaking or in public office of his own kith and kin. And he did.

Unpopular Causes

In the Senate Teroy espoused unpopular causes that he believed were good for the country. He supported my proposal to have a logging ban for 25 years that was opposed by people who thought it was a bad idea. He backed up the Local Government Code that some thought would promote divisiveness among the people. He endorsed along with 11 of us the dismantling of the US military bases in the land. And opposed the sale or disposal of the Roppongi and other Philippine government properties in Japan as unconscionable proposals because those properties were paid to us in reparation of the atrocities committed against our people during the Japanese war and had become heirlooms of the nation.

Without my sensing it then, many of Teroy's advocacies coincided with mine.


Since I believe in the kinship of ideals over mere verbal assurances of fraternal respect, I say with all candor that I am humbled by my acquaintanceship that ultimately developed into friendship with a man who was every inch of him worthy of the title Senator of the Land, Sotero Teroy Laurel.

Of course, Teroy would not have been that good without the devoted and unwavering support of his wife, Lorna, and of their equally talented sons and daughters, and the Laurel clan which is justifiably well known for the love that unites many of the branches of their families even today.

Walking with Kings

As I end this talk, I would like to quote parts of Rudyard Kipling's "If".

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;


If you lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man

Kipling wrote the poem in 1896 or some 113 years ago. But when I revisited it this morning, it read as if it had been written for Teroy.

Yours is Our Country

My dear Teroy, yours is our country to which you gave your mind, heart and soul so full of peace, of understanding, of good will.

And, thus, you no longer belong to the Laurels. You are our people's. And we are proud of you.

God rest your soul, dear friend, even as we ask with Shakespeare, Whence comes such another?

Sen. Mar Roxas on Sen. Sotero "Teroy" Laurel

by Dr. Prospero E. de Vera

I would like to share the eulogy delivered by Senator Mar A. Roxas during the necrological services for the late Senator Sotero H. Laurel held at the Senate on September 7, 2009.

Eulogy for Sen. Sotero H. Laurel
Delivered by Sen. Mar A. Roxas during the Necrological Services for the late Sen. Sotero Laurel

We are convened to mourn Sotero H. Laurel, senator of the Republic, staunch nationalist, molder of our future through his work as educator. But before all these, I knew him as Uncle Teroy, husband to Tita Lorna, father of my classmate Peter, as well as to the brood – Jojo, Bobby, Chuck, Rick, Rina (who has passed away), Sallie, Mark and Ana, who all became my good friends through the years.

He was a true gentleman of the old school: decent, honest, with no stain upon his name.

I knew him then as a kind of renaissance man. For a father of a classmate, he was actually quite fun. I spent much time with his kids, and even joined them on some vacations. And I saw and sensed his love for his family, and his being a good guiding hand in their growing up.

He had a simple, unassuming presence in the midst of a passion for music and the arts. And despite his lofty education, he held no pretensions to either knowledge or power. I was always at home with him because he was accessible, ‘yung abot ba -- the kind of uncle who would encourage you and give you a sense of what was possible.

Beneath that deep reserve of love and warmth was a steely, principled leader. From time to time, he would counsel Peter and I about our country and our responsibility, our obligation for our being.

Uncle Teroy wielded his nationalism with unswerving and boundless determination. To my mind, he loved the Filipino people with genuine care and affection.

In fact, he spent the greater part of his life mentoring love of country to a whole generation. That is one of the reasons why the Lyceum of the Philippines became a bastion of nationalism, an institution that raised fierce fighters against the dictatorship.

And he did not only teach love of country, he walked the talk.

In 1991, he voted to abolish the US bases as part of the “Magnificent 12” who voted in this chamber, led by Senate President Salonga. That was five years after the 1986 EDSA revolution, when Uncle Teroy decided to leave the sanctuary of a quiet professional career and join all those who wanted to restore democracy and freedom in our country.

It is notable, and this information is from Sen. Rene Saguisag, he emailed me this information, that Senator Teroy died on September 16, the 18th anniversary of that vote on the Bases.

Few leaders have ever graced these halls who loved their country so much, who fought for it so passionately and who mentored the rising generations to do the same thing.

We have not really lost Uncle Teroy. He lives on in this chamber just as every historic moment that has taken place within these halls—when votes were cast or signatures were written for the cause of this, our great nation—against colonial rule, dictatorship, corruption and the abuse of power; and for a stronger economy, a better life for our people and pride in our blood and heritage.

For his family, let me say this: In my mind, Uncle Teroy has received the highest accolade one can give to a public servant. Indeed, at the end of my own public service career, I would like the same to be said of me: “Respetado siya. Disenteng tao. Hindi inabuso ang kapangyarihan. Nakatulong sa kanyang mga kababayan. Minahal ang Inang Bayan.”

We pray that he rest peacefully in the palm of the Almighty; and that by his legacy and example, we will always have a good yardstick of what it truly means to be an honest and decent Filipino.

Let me state my parting words for his family:

Be honored. Be proud of his name.

Si Uncle Teroy: Walang mantsa, walang bahid, disenteng tao.

Thank you and good afternoon.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Senator Sotero H. Laurel: from the People Who Knew Him

by Dr. Prospero E. de Vera

I would like to share this very nice and moving piece written by Eugene Reyes on Senator Sotero H. Laurel. Eugene Reyes and I served under Senator Laurel in the 8th Congress. He went on to become the Philippine Trade Representative to Singapore and New York. Eugene now stays full time in New York teaching at Baruch College and helping new under-served immigrants gain access to government programs.

My Fond Memories of Ka Teroy

by Eugene Reyes

Writing for Ka Teroy was a wanderlust adventure in the deep corners of his brilliant mind and personal ethos. A gentleman of the old school, he values relationships established in the course of his life, at work, in school, in the Senate, on the campaign trail. He would always emphasize to me to find that one word, that one-liner that would connect the reader of his letter to him in a very personal way. In writing memos, he would tell me to err on the side of caution, using “For” instead of “To”, the word “For” denoting more respect and equality in the position even when he was already a Senate President Pro-tempore. For him, “To” sounds presumptuous, even haughty.

I recall a time when he showed me various letters written by his father, Jose, as a senator-statesman, as president, and as Supreme Court justice. He told me to read them, and emulate the writing style and language. And as I go through each of the letters, I yearn of a gentle time when eloquence was the rule and elegance was the standard, and when politeness among men and civility in society was the way of life. He wanted for me to ensure that in writing for him, the work should capture the essence of his person and the core of his integrity.

Once he asked me to write the opening prayer that he will deliver on the senate floor. It might as well have been a policy speech addressed to the heavens, for in it, he added the phrase “and save us from the certain destruction of a nuclear holocaust”. At that time, it was the Cold War and the debate on the future of the military bases rages, he was fearful that keeping them would invite an unwarranted retaliatory ICBM attack from the old Soviet Union in the event of an all-out Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) scenario between the superpowers. He was a pacifist.

In writing a speech on poverty, it was from Ka Teroy that I learned of poverty as a form of “structured violence”. He explained that the long-term effect of poverty is to society as domestic violence is to a home. To him, poverty leads to malnutrition, and the latter inhibits the mind from developing to its fullest. A society beset by such condition will have difficulty in producing wise and scholarly people in its fold. He was compassionate.

On a personal note and recall, the year 1988 was coming to an end. I had a bout of illness while my father’s health was also deteriorating. I asked the Senator if I could take leave from work, to address my personal issues. He told me to take as much time as I need, and, upon my return, he wanted me to organize his office library. “Please”, he said… “Take care of my precious books. But take care of your father first, he needs you more.” I never was able to do that for him, taking care of his books, because as soon as I took my leave, my father passed away, and everything went on a spin. To my surprise on one of the nights of my father’s wake, Ka Teroy dispatched his daughter-in-law to come to the interment service. She informed me that the Senator has sent her to represent the family and convey their condolence. I was floored. I was just a staffer, a ghost-writer for him, and he reached out on my hour of grief, even involving his family member. I will always remember the Senator for that. He is a true gentleman.

Ka Teroy, may your name and legacy endures. May the things you value continue to be held in high esteem. May that era of gentleness and chivalry you represent live forever among men of courage and uprightness.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Senator Teroy Laurel I Knew

Dr. Prospero E. de Vera

Sotero H. Laurel, who comes from a family that has contributed much to the shaping of Philippine society, joined our Creator on September 16, 2009, at the age of 90. He obtained his law degree at the University of the Philippines and subsequently pursued post-graduate studies at the University of Santo Tomas and at Harvard University where he specialized in international and constitutional law.

This opening paragraph in today's Manila Bulletin editorial entitled Farewell to a Nationalist, Statesman, and Educator, former Senator Sotero H. Laurel brings back fond memories of what many consider as "the best" Philippine Senate, composed of men and women of integrity, eloquence, brilliance, and with PhDs like Jovy Salonga, Wigberto Tanada, Nene Pimentel, Leticia Shahani, Rene Saguisag, Edgardo Angara, Juan Ponce Enrile, and of course Sotero "Teroy" Laurel.

I was privileged to be part of that Senate when I joined the staff of Senator Sotero Laurel as Technical Assistant and Chief of Research in 1988. I was a relatively young faculty member of De La Salle University at that time who felt an obligation to join the government to "put my money where my mouth is" after years of opposing the martial law regime. Senator Laurel gave me the break to start a career in the legislative branch of government.

"Nationalist", "Statesman", "Educator", "Scholar" and many other terms were used to describe Senator Laurel in the eulogies delivered at the Senate yesterday. Teroy Laurel to me was a boss who hired me on the strength of an on-the-spot speech on the plight of Indo-Chinese refugees in the Asian region which was assigned to me when I applied at his office. Upon receipt of the speech during a UN forum, Senator Laurel immediately instructed his chief-of-staff to hire me as Technical Assistant and also made me Chief-of-Research and Head of Secretariat that organized the regular consultants meeting.

To say that he was a task master is an understatement. He demanded discipline, hard work, and preparation - of facts, policy arguments, legal basis, and sentence construction - from the staff. He was, pardon the reference to President Ramos, an original "complete staff work" type of leader. I remember writing a speech for him on higher education which he personally revised ten times!! In the end, only nine original lines remained from the draft I submitted three days earlier.

Like most of his colleagues, Teroy Laurel took the "numbers game" seriously and monitored his ranking in the number of bills filed at the end of every session. He would give his technical staff a quota of new bills and resolutions that should be ready for his signature at the start of the next session. Drafting the bills was a breeze, getting it past the "Teroy consultants" was a nightmare.

Why a nightmare? Because he assembled a group of heavyweight consultants - Chief Justice Felix Makasiar, Trade Secretary Teddy Quiazon, UP Law Dean Froilan Bacungan, UP Vice President Fred Morales, Ambassador Jose Moreno - to represent him in Senate committee meetings and serve as a panel to go over the bills we prepared.

All proposed bills and resolutions were presented before this panel of consultants who would raise legal questions, test your mastery of the facts, pick apart your arguments that there was a need to amend the law, and generally make you wish you had another job. If you survive the panel, then you can present your proposal to the Senator.

Over time, these luminaries became my mentors. CJ Makasiar made me understand the majesty of the Constitution and sharpened my bill drafting skills. Teddy Quiazon taught me how to write short, concise and understandable committee reports and memoranda. Dean Bacungan showed me how long-winded legal arguments and complex legislative language can be explained in terms understandable to a layman, and Fred Morales stroked my interest in higher education policy and convinced me to finish my graduate studies.

On a personal note, their personalized recommendations (CJ Makasiar, Teddy Quiazon, Fred Morales) together with that of Senator Laurel helped convince the Philippine Fulbright program that I deserved a Fulbright-Hays Visiting Scholar grant to the University of Southern California and the California State University-Sacramento to study higher education policy and administration.

Ka Teroy's academic and intellectual achievements, integrity and probity, and demand for complete staff work later shaped my choice and association with Senators from the 9th-14th Congress. I have been fortunate to be associated with Senators who personified these same characteristics - Nene Pimentel, Letty Shahani, Juan Flavier, Jun Magsaysay - and whose stint in the Senate were never tarnished by allegations of corruption.

Thank you Senator Sotero Laurel for lending your presence to the Senate. How we wish there were more of you to make the Senate a real "august chamber".

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Politics of Redistricting

by Dr. Prospero E. de Vera

The creation of new legislative districts, and the resulting increase in the number of representatives in the Philippine Congress has been an on-and-off issue the past years.

It gained prominence early this year when the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional the 2% threshold in the Party List Law (R.A. 7941) and added 54 more party-list representatives to the roster of House members. This SC decision came on the heels of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's proposal, through Senate Bill 2353, to increase the membership of Congress from 250 to 350.

The issue of redistricting has again gone back to center stage with the impending passage of a bill that would carve a new congressional district in Camarines Sur.

Using the 250,000-1 constituent-to-representative ratio required in the Constitution, Camarines Sur clearly deserves more representatives. What's the catch? The new congressional seat is being created so that DBM Secretary Nonoy Andaya can go back to Congress after giving his seat to Dato Arroyo in 2007!!

The rationale for redistricting and representation is contained in Section 5, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which states that Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative.

The Constitution also instructs Congress within three years after every census, to pass a law that will reapportion legislative districts (Section 5, Article VI).

The problem with Congress is that it has been unable, and unwilling, to do its Constitutional task. The last serious attempt to undertake a nationwide redistricting was done in the 8th Congress through Rep. Lally Laurel-Trinidad. The redistricting bill passed the House committees and reached plenary debates. Unfortunately, the bill died on the floor as legislators were unable to agree on how to draw the lines for legislative districts.

In the absence of a general redistricting law, Congress has been creating new legislative districts every time it converts a municipality into a city, creates a new province, or in the case of Camarines Sur, splitting an existing district into two.

Senator Noynoy Aquino and I discussed this brewing controversy at the Crossroads program of Tony Velasquez on ANC two days ago. Senator Aquino is trying his darn best to stop the Joker Arroyo-Louie Villafuerte-Nonoy Andaya-Dato Arroyo sponsored Camarines Sur redistricting because it would violate the 250,000-1 constituent-legislator ratio.

He also questioned the “high priority” given to the bill creating a new district in Camarines Sur over those that redistrict Cavite and Camarines Norte. If he loses the fight, he promised to bring it all the way to the Supreme Court.

The culprit in this whole problem is Congress itself. By refusing to do its Constitutional task to undertake a nationwide redistricting after every census, it has created a system that disadvantages areas that have no powerful political patrons in Congress, are in the opposition, or do not have a Dato or Mikey Arroyo.

What makes Camarines Sur more important than District II in Quezon City which has 1.5 million people and 1 representative? or Pangasinan where 2 million residents are represented by only 6 members in Congress?

They all don't have a Dato Arroyo, a Joker Arroyo, or a Nonoy Andaya.

Or maybe we should ask Joker Arroyo who is pushing for the new district, or Noynoy Aquino who is the chair of the Senate Committee on Local Governments - why haven't you championed a national redistricting law in your more than ten years in Congress so we are not caught in this vicious problem?

Pray tell us why!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Political Discernment and Reflection

by Dr. Prospero E. de Vera

"Discernment" and "Reflection" have now become buzzwords in our continuing national political drama. With more than ten declared presidentiables - Manny Villar (NP), Jojo Binay (PDP-Laban), Chiz Escudero and Loren Legarda (NPC), Gilbert Teodoro and Bayani Fernando (LAKAS), Eddie Villanueva (Bangon Pilipinas), JC de los Reyes (Kapatiran), Nicanor Perlas, Noli de Castro, Joseph Estrada (PMP), Jamby Madrigal, Mike Velarde, and even Dick Gordon - jostling for limited media space and fickle public attention, it appears that extra human interventions are now needed in deciding whether to run come November.

Noli de Castro has been "discerning" (whether to run for President, whether to join the administration party, whether a GMA anointment is political suicide, or both, or all is not clear) for sometime now.

And Noynoy Aquino, as everyone is aware, has gone on a
"spiritual retreat" before finalizing his decision for the 2010 elections.

But what exactly is a "retreat" and how does one engage in "discernment"?

A "retreat" is defined in the dictionary as "a period of retirement or seclusion, especially one devoted to religious contemplation away from the pressures of ordinary life". "Spiritual", on the other hand, refers to "the higher intellectual or endowments of the mind, intellect, consciousness or the moral feelings or states of the soul".

Making a "spiritual retreat" then involves choosing a place of quietude, perhaps with a teacher or spiritual guide, to rediscover the divinity that exists at the center of our lives.

Is it then a "retreat" if it is announced in advance (and through the media) as Noynoy Aquino did lately when he said - "This weekend, starting tomorrow actually, I will be going on a spiritual retreat as I pray for discernment and divine guidance"?

The Holy Bible in Matthew 6:5-6 said:

"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Many people I talked to are aghast with how politicians go through a "retreat" and seek "discernment". It would have been best, they added, if Noynoy Aquino simply left town quietly without fanfare and without a media statement to pray and seek God's guidance. He could have simply said "I need personal space for a couple of days, please bear with me", and went his way.

Why the need to mention the place, convent, and those who will give him guidance? Why all the media hoopla? Why can't this be done in secret?

There are so many references to the scriptures about why and how we seek God through silent prayer and meditation. The retreat of Noynoy Aquino may have this "silent" component even if it was done with the attendance of spiritual advisers, but the fact that he had the media following him or reporting on his discernment trip contradicts the very essence of why one goes on a retreat.

In Luke 4:42 we can see how a retreat and discernment is done - "And when day came, He departed and went to a lonely place; and the multitudes were searching for Him, and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from going away from them."

In Matthew 14:23, "And after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone." He sent both the seeking multitudes and His disciples away so He could be alone with the Father.

This means Jesus did not succumb to the temptation of feeling and being wanted. He disciplined himself to be alone and did not think of his importance, his power, his indispensability.

Why can't our political leaders who are truly seeking discernment or
praying for the blessings of God, do this in their own solitude and not
have the cameras follow their every move?

Those who can't resist the clamoring attention of media should refrain from
trumpeting their religious values to get supporters and followers.

They may be holier-than-thou but Filipinos are smarter-than-thee.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Something Weird Happened on the Way to Club Filipino

by Dr. Prospero E. de Vera

In my Monday blog entitled "The Problem with a Noynoy Presidential Run" I pointed to the problems created by a Mar Roxas-Noynoy Aquino political rivalry and urged the Liberal Party to resolve this problem as soon as possible lest it starts affecting their campaign for the presidency.

I ended the column by asking the question: Will it be Noynoy Aquino for President?

A couple of hours later in historic Club Filipino, Mar Roxas answered my question with his dramatic decision to give way to Noynoy Aquino for the sake of LP unity and the demands of various groups all over country.

I was expecting a Mar Roxas slide to be accompanied by the crowning of Noynoy Aquino as the LP standard bearer and a call to arms for the LP base and support groups for 2010.

It did not happen on Tuesday.

As the whole country waited with bated breath on Wednesday, Noynoy Aquino announced in the same historic Club Filipino that he will be going on a "spiritual retreat" before finalizing his decision for the 2010 elections. He also said that his presidential run would be based on three things: 1) his ability to guarantee that there will really be meaningful changes for society and the country; 2) the availability of logistics for his electoral campaign; and 3) the sentiments of his four sisters about his presidential bid.

Wow!! Whoa!! What??

Something definitely weird happened on the way to Club Filipino.

If Noynoy needed to go on a retreat, consult with his family, gauge his ability to lead the country, get a sense of the logistics for his electoral campaign, wasn't it more logical to talk this out with Mar Roxas, declare his intention to contest the presidency, engage in spirited and issue-based rivalry within the LP, and let the party and its support groups decide, through a convention, on who is best fit to carry the LP banner come November?

And why the rush in Mar Roxas' press conference last Tuesday?

While LP party leaders in media interviews were united in asking everyone to respect Noynoy's desire for self-reflection, many wonder why these same party leaders did not manage the Mar to Noynoy transfer of the mantle of leadership better.

The trail of events has placed both Mar Roxas and Noynoy Aquino in a bind.

For all his efforts over the past year to champion the cause of victimized educational plan holders, lead Senate discussions on the JPEPA, attack GMA's ChaCha, develop advocacy ads to show his concern for the poor, send his trusted political lieutenants to negotiate with local leaders, and criss-cross the country with Korina, people's recollection of Mar Roxas is now been defined almost exclusively in his relinguishing his presidential dream to Noynoy who has not accepted it.

Korina Sanchez has enough reasons to feel bad.

And with his reluctance to lead a country that has suddenly found its moral moorings with the untimely death of former President Cory Aquino, his hesitation to present himself before the Filipino people without a clear vision and platform of government, and the real problem of starting his presidential campaign late compared to the others, Noynoy is now being criticized by political pundits like Benito Lim for being "odorless, tasteless, and colorless" and being asked by GMA's attack dogs to differentiate himself from his parents.

Both Mar Roxas and Noynoy Aquino deserve better. The LP leaders should have managed the trail of events better.